As the saying goes ‘make hay whilst the sun shines’, we finally managed to do this earlier this month (about four weeks later than planned!) as we had three consistent warm days. Making our haylage is an essential part of our preparations for the winter. We use a local contractor and the process involves mowing the grass and clover leys, letting them wilt for a day to reduce the moisture level so it will ferment and then wrapping it tightly into large bales so the air doesn’t get to it. The result is a delicious nourishing feed that both our horses and sheep will enjoy throughout the winter when fresh grass pasture is scarce.
Talking of the horses, the Cowerslane Shire Horses have been out at various local agricultural shows recently winning a few prizes and a couple of Championships. My son Jamie has also been doing really well in the Shire Young Handlers competitions, so well done to him too! We divide out the work on a Show morning and we all have our own bits to do whether its washing out the legs, plaiting the manes and tails or cooking breakfast!!! My responsibilities are mainly around plaiting up the horses on show day and then handling our foal Chrystal in the show ring. Although she hasn’t won many prizes and is nearly always the smallest in the ring, having only been born in mid May, she has behaved really well and first time Mum Isabella has done an excellent job looking after her!!
August also brings another challenge in that its two years since we lost Steve. We all found our own ways to remember him and I visited his favourite spot on the farm, looking out over the amazing views of the Ecclesbourne Valley we have. I think he would be pretty proud of how we’ve kept everything going, the awards we’ve won and the tremendous work the team at Croots continues to do
In the shop, we now have our own home reared lambs on the Butchery counter which we are really pleased with and our summer ranges of kebabs, spatchcocks, burgers and sausages have all been doing really well despite the challenging weather! On the sunnier days, the children have been enjoying the play area, bale maze, scavenger hunt and of course the Bluebells icecream!!
Our thoughts are now turning to Autumn Winter and of course Christmas and there are several things to look forward to from a Sausage and Cider evening, to our regular Taste of Christmas event, Breakfast with Santa and also a visit from Val of Bake Off fame (Steves sister) to do an evening of Gingerbread House and cookie making!!!!
We look forward to welcoming you over the coming weeks ahead!